‘Springville, Utah – October 23, 2015 – “American St. Nick” tells the remarkable TRUE story of a handful of American soldiers who, during the chaos of war, help bring Christmas back a small Luxembourg town and unknowingly create a holiday tradition that continues to this very day.
While the GIs called it a Christmas party, the people of Wiltz considered it a celebration of their St. Nicholas Day, a holiday that precedes Christmas but was outlawed under Nazi rule. One of the soldiers even borrowed the mass robes of the local priest, dressed as St. Nicholas, and rode through town in a Jeep, greeting the children and passing out presents. Ten days after the celebration, German forces overran Wiltz during the Battle of the Bulge.
After the war, Wiltz was rebuilt and the town began the tradition of the American St. Nicholas as they re-enacted the original procession that took place during the war. Years later, the original American St. Nicholas was able to return to Wiltz to meet those that he had inspired during the war and participate in their continued Christmas celebrations. “American St. Nick” is a thrilling and heart-warming holiday classic that will amaze, entertain and delight.
“One more memorable and inspiring story from the greatest generation — Soldiers who put down their weapons and brought Christmas to a beleaguered town and its kids. It will touch your heart and make you proud.” – Tom Brokaw
“Better than any Christmas fable, this is a remarkable true story that I can’t believe I didn’t know: American soldiers putting down their guns in the heat of WWII battle to offer a sliver of light and holiday hope. An uplifting must-read.” – Willie Geist, NBC’s TODAY and MSNBC’s Morning Joe
“On December 5, 1944, against the bleak backdrop of World War II, a group of American GIs unleashed the strongest weapon in their arsenal: humanity. Peter Lion recaptures the magic of Santa to transcend even the darkest of times. The children of Wiltz, Luxembourg, never forgot their American St. Nick. And now neither will you.” – Meredith Vieira, Journalist and TV Talk Show Host
“This story is one of the most heartwarming of World War II. Expertly written, “American St. Nick” captures the bond that exists to this day between American soldiers and those they liberated in Europe during WWII. The story goes to show that humanity and compassion does have a place in war and that one act of kindness can last centuries.” – Tim Gray, Chairman, The World War II Foundation
About the Author
Peter Lion is a seven-time EMMY winning producer and director. He graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 1983 with a BA in Journalism and double minors in English and Communications.
“American St. Nick” is available for purchase and review.
Peter is available for interviews.
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